Anti-Racism What Works? An evaluation of the effectiveness of anti-racism strategies

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Anti-Racism What Works? An evaluation of the effectiveness of anti-racism strategies"


1 Anti-Racism What Works? An evaluation of the effectiveness of anti-racism strategies Prepared by the: Centre for Social Change & Social Equity Murdoch University For the: Office of Multicultural Interests March 2003

2 Anti-Racism What works? An evaluation of the effectiveness of anti-racism strategies Prepared for the Office of Multicultural Interests Anne Pedersen, Iain Walker, Mark Rapley, & Mike Wise School of Psychology Murdoch University South Street Murdoch, Western Australia Telephone: (08)

3 CONTENTS 1. Executive Summary 4 Page no 2. Background, definition of terms, and overview of report What are anti-racism strategies? Why are anti-racism strategies needed? 9 3. Method 9 4. Overview of evaluations of anti-racism strategies Individual Strategies 12 - Providing knowledge about cultural issues 12 - Dissonance 13 - Empathy Interpersonal Strategies 15 - Intergroup contact 15 - Providing consensus information 17 - Dialogue 17 - Advertising campaigns Description of reviews Methodological adequacy Broader issues Summary, conclusions, and implications References Endnotes Appendices Appendix A. Annotated bibliography: Anti-racism and related strategies 37 Appendix B. A summary evaluation of strategies 78 3.

4 Laws in this area will not change the hearts of men [sic], they can only restrain the actions of the heartless (Martin Luther King, Jr.) 1. Executive Summary This report, for the Office of Multicultural Interests, provides a review of the literature on anti-racism strategies, and incorporates evidence from various key researchers and policy workers from around Australia. Although serious methodological limitations restrict the generalisability of much of this literature, a number of key findings consistently emerge. These key findings may inform an evidence-based policy framework for anti-racism strategies. Specifically, the available evidence suggests that effective anti-racism strategies should: 1. Seek to eliminate false beliefs by providing accurate information. 2. Avoid one-way communication: people are unlikely to engage with the topic of anti-racism if they are not given the opportunity to contribute their views. 3. Aim to provide the practical skills to empower people to speak out against racism. This is a crucial strategy for combating the racism of those who may assume, in the absence of dissenting voices, that their views are widely shared. 4. Invoke empathy for others. 5. Incorporate longitudinal strategies, initially emphasizing similarities among rather than differences between groups, but subsequently emphasising diversity and plurality. 6. Focus on changing racist behaviours and actions, rather than on changing racist attitudes and/or beliefs, which are remarkably resistant to change. Developing and supporting non-racist behaviour is not only more achievable than are non-racist attitudes, but research suggests that altering behaviour can in itself lead to altered attitudes. 7. Offer communities sound alternative explanations to people s justifications for their racist views, emphasizing that the anti-social behaviour of dispossessed people makes more sense as a consequence of their dispossession than of their ethnicity and, in any case, that ethnic groups are not homogenous. 8. Have the support of clear unambiguous political leadership. 9. Draw from a coalition of leaders from academia, sport, police, public life etc. who are committed to delivering a consistent message. 10. Be supported by sustained and substantial funding. 11. Be supported by collaboration across agencies and full consultation/involvement of ethnic communities. 12. Offer practical solutions to changing behaviour rather than just focusing on beliefs. 13. Develop long-term plans rather than one-shot interventions, as change, by necessity, takes time. 4.

5 In summary, the literature suggests that the best possible strategy for combating racism is multi-faceted, and developed in accordance with the specific and local circumstances of the community for which it is intended. Specifically, a dynamic, iterative and consultative approach, using both top-down strategies (e.g., community or institutionally instigated action, such as advertising campaigns targeting specific actions or behaviours as in the successful HIV/AIDS prevention Grim Reaper campaign) and bottomup strategies (e.g., addressing specific racist behaviours), is more likely to succeed than are replications of one-size fits all programs, without due regard for local community concerns and political sensitivities around the issues of entitlement, dispossession, racism and prejudice. Further, in the design and implementation of any strategy, it is advisable to work collaboratively with other community agencies, in order to avoid the duplication of initiatives, and in future to evaluate the success of each strategy with reference to empirically rigorous process, interim and longer-term outcome criteria. 5.

6 2. Background, definition of terms, and overview of report Australia has the reputation of being a successful multicultural society. But the last decade has seen considerable public debate about race 1 and racial issues, much of it negative. For example, the Mabo and Wik decisions, the rise of One Nation, the Tampa crisis and the ongoing management of asylum seekers have received a great deal of negative publicity. In this last example, Australia has been criticised by many (e.g., the United Nations) for its treatment of asylum seekers. The reports in the media regarding attacks on the World Trade Center on September , and more recently the Bali bombings on October , have resulted in a heightened salience of 'racial' and religious issues, racial vilification and racial assaults in Australia. Some political parties support racism by either overtly or covertly espousing it, or by taking no action actively to reject it. But what strategies can be put into place to reduce racism? One frequently advocated way to reduce racism is the implementation of anti-racism strategies by governments and other organisations. Our aim in this report is to provide a generally representative list of published and unpublished accounts of actions that focus on reducing racist behaviours, attitudes, and/or beliefs. Such approaches may include publicity campaigns against racism, racism response strategies, anti-racist education and training, racial prejudice and racial/religious stereotype reduction programs, and racism awareness training. (Note that in the latter case, any reductions in racism are supposed to be mostly through an increase in awareness of racism). It is the focus of each approach (the supposed active process and, in most cases, the aim) that is the basis for categorization here, rather than the label and politics of each approach. But first, it is necessary to provide a definition of racism - and anti-racism - for the purposes of this report. First, we discuss the meaning of the term racism, in particular the difference between it and other constructs such as prejudice. Prejudice and racism are generally seen as attitudes; that is, they are seen to be evaluative orientations individuals have to groups of people. There are many definitions of racism. In this report, racism is broadly defined as including attitudes, judgments, discriminatory behaviours, and institutional practices that function to systematically disadvantage groups of people defined by their race or ethnicity. It is acknowledged that factors such as sexism, homophobia, religious beliefs, and able-ism are often intrinsically linked with racism, and are problems in their own right. Mainstream Australians are not a single homogeneous dominant group; nor are minority groups homogeneous. However, for the purposes of this report, racial issues are concentrated on here. Related terms are stereotypes and prejudice. A stereotype is defined as consensually-held beliefs about social groups, and can be positive (e.g., The French are supposedly good cooks) or negative (The British are supposedly inhibited). Prejudice, on the other hand, is defined as a positive or negative attitude, 6.

7 judgment or feeling about a person that is generalized from attitudes or beliefs held about the group to which the person belongs (Jones, 1997, p. 10). However, it is usually taken to reflect a negative prejudgment. Thus, the term racism is more inclusive than racial stereotypes or racial prejudice in that it explicitly notes institutional and cultural practices. Some research has distinguished between two kinds of prejudice (e.g., Pedersen & Walker, 1997): an 'old-fashioned' form characterized by overt hostility and rejection, and a 'modern' form which is more subtle and covert involving individualistic values. However, recent research by the authors indicates that there is not a clear distinction between the two. Although this report will not go into any detail, the distinction needs to be mentioned as some of the research cited in this report relies on these constructs. The terms prejudice, racism etc. are often used loosely and interchangeably in the research reviewed here. In reviewing this research, we will use the terms as the original authors have defined them. Racism operates at both individual and systemic levels. Therefore, anti-racism strategies need to be implemented at individual, institutional, and cultural levels. For example, previous research finds that racism relates to some personal characteristics of individuals such as empathy and right-wing authoritarianism; however, it also relates to more societal variables such as lack of education and local norms. It is important to acknowledge the fluidity of both prejudice and racism. Analyses of historical changes in prejudice and racism in Australia show significant ambivalence in community attitudes throughout the 20 th century, but also show a strengthening of the positive and a weakening of the negative poles constituting this ambivalence. Important historical events have produced large and immediate changes in attitudes to particular groups. Research in the United States shows huge changes in how Germans and Japanese people are viewed coinciding with the Second World War. Similar, but less drastic, changes were evident in Australia. Such changes are hard to reconcile with a view that prejudice and racism are persistent attitudes, and that the best way to change discriminatory behaviours is by changing antecedent attitudes. Instead, these changes point to a salutary point big, historical, structural changes induce attitude change, not the other way round. In summary, there are no easy solutions to the problems of prejudice, racism, and discrimination. If there were, they would have been found by now. The first point to make is that no strategy for change will be successful without significant political will. It is not apparent that everyone wants to reduce prejudice and racism, or that these are seen as issues worth significant investment of community time and resources. Indeed, it can be argued that significant sections of the general community currently benefit from prevailing intergroup tensions and hostilities. Any attempt to reduce prejudice and racism is likely to encounter resistance if sections of the community stand to lose something, or believe that they stand to lose 7.

8 something. A second point to make is that moral exhortation to be nice to one another does not work; Sunday sermonizing is not enough. A third point is that any attempt to portray particular groups as different but nice do not work, especially in the prevailing climate in Australia which has seen significant community divisions in recent years over issues such as Native Land Title, asylum seekers, and terrorism. Fourth, any strategy that is likely to be successful necessarily involves social, structural, and political change. Fifth, attempts to reduce prejudice and racism are unlikely to have generic effects. Such attempts are probably best articulated to meet particular local needs, and should be targeted for particular issues and for particular sub-populations. The best interventions for the classroom are unlikely to be the best in the workplace; the best interventions in Nedlands are unlikely to be the best in Kalgoorlie. Sixth, any strategy must not expect instant results. Prejudice and racism have been around a long time; they will not disappear from community discourse immediately. Similarly, strategies must target different aspects of prejudice and racism at different times in a sequenced program. Although attitudes do not have strong, direct effects on behaviours, they may well be important to address as precursors for attempts to introduce major structural or legislative change. The present report will enlarge upon all of these points What are anti-racism strategies? Anti-racist education and training are terms used to refer to many different things. On the one hand, they can focus on increasing anti-racist behaviours, beliefs, and/or attitudes in participants. This, in turn, is supposed to effect a reduction in racism in and by the participants (depending on the viewpoint of the author of the account and depending on whether the participants are from an ethnic/cultural majority or minority). The students (whatever their ethnicity) are supposed to go on to be formal or informal anti-racist educators themselves. Anti-racist education and training programs also usually rest upon quite different ideological and theoretical frameworks from cultural awareness training and racism awareness training. For example, anti-racist education focuses on both individual prejudiced attitudes, social power relations, and aims to change them. In contrast, racism awareness training focuses only on individual attitudes and aims to change them - in isolation from institutional racism. Thus, a salient contrast between the two approaches is the presence or absence of a focus on social power relations. Anti-racism education focuses on social power asymmetries; racism awareness training and cultural awareness training do not. Finally, cultural awareness training focuses on culture rather than racism. That is, the principal aim of cultural awareness training is to promote an increased understanding of ethnic minority cultures; there is no direct focus on reducing racism. Anti-racism approaches are distinguishable from those that focus on increasing non-racist behaviours, attitudes, and/or beliefs, such as multicultural education or cultural awareness training, even though the reduction of racism may also eventuate. In cultural understanding or tolerance-focused approaches, the focus is not on racism or anti-racism. However, since the relationship between multicultural education and 8.

9 anti-racist education has been a hotly contested issue, some references are included here in the Related issues & publications section of the bibliography (see Appendix A). At least two major related approaches to combating racism (more or less directly) have been excluded from this report. First, publications that focus on the reduction of racism through increasing participation, access, equity, and equality are not included, unless such programs involve actively anti-racist aspects, such as the addressing of inequities in power and representation described by Reid and Holland (1996). Second, publications that focus on the reduction of racism through, more or less anti-racist, legislation to either increase positive outcomes (e.g., equity and equality) or decrease negative outcomes (e.g., racial vilification) are not included in this report. For readers interested in multi-faceted programs/policies, see the bibliography attached to this report. 2.2 Why are anti-racism strategies needed? Australia is often heralded as a tolerant society, accepting of different cultures and peoples. Australian society also shows considerable evidence of racism. Aside from the fact that racism is ideologically offensive, and results in an exclusionary segmented society, it has considerable negative effects not only for the victim of racism, but for society as a whole. Allbrook (2001) makes the specific point that racism is socially disruptive, destabilises good community relations, social cohesion, and national unity and decreases productivity (p. 12). Thus, it is beneficial for all groups of Australian society to eliminate racism, although not all groups stand to benefit equally and some groups stand to lose as well. Anti-racist strategies involve eliminating or at the very least modifying - racist beliefs. However, it is worth noting that some research indicates that these strategies have limited effectiveness (e.g., Commissioner for Equal Opportunities, 1998). Yet, until a sufficient number of different studies are examined with different theoretical perspectives and emphases, no firm conclusions can be reached. We aim to further this endeavour. 3. Method This report aims to review published and unpublished reports evaluating anti-racism strategies. The following process for document selection and retrieval was followed: 1. A search was made of psychological (PsycINFO), sociological (SocioFile), and educational (ERIC) SilverPlatter databases for journal articles and book chapters that contain the words, anti-racism OR antiracism OR anti racism AND strategy OR strategies and were published in English between 1980 and This initial search produced mostly critical discussion documents, guidelines, and recommendations. References that appeared sufficiently relevant were then sought through Western Australian libraries (hardcopy and electronic access). 9.

10 2. Reference lists in these articles and chapters were manually searched for additional potentially relevant publications, on the understanding that not all anti-racism strategies are directly identified as such. 3. References were sought after performing a search of the above SilverPlatter databases for entries containing the words, prejudice OR stereotype OR attitude OR belief AND reduction OR reducing OR change OR changing AND race OR racial OR racist OR racism. 4. An internet search (using the Google search engine), focusing on state, national, and international government and non-government websites, was conducted, seeking internet-published reports of antiracism strategies. 5. A more informal search was made of the social-psychological research by way of -lists and wordof-mouth. 6. Interviews with prominent social researchers and policy workers around Australia. 4. Overview of evaluations of anti-racism strategies In this section, an overview is given of the success or otherwise of anti-racism strategies. It is worth noting here that most of the evaluations of anti-racism strategies we uncovered have substantial methodological flaws, such as ill-defined outcomes, poorly-measured outcomes, no follow-up assessment, over-reliance on university students as participants, small numbers of participants, and over-reliance on one-off short-term interventions. Indeed, the set of available evaluations and other studies is generally so flawed that it is difficult to identify, and even harder to support unequivocally, any firm conclusions. As a rule, it is not planned to criticise the method of studies one-by-one, but the quality of the literature at the end of their description will be discussed. Information about all the reports and studies incorporated in this section is summarised in Appendix B (Table 1: an evaluation of strategies; Table 2: review of summaries). Anti-racism strategies come in many overlapping shapes and forms. Duckitt (2001) argues that antiprejudice strategies operate at four levels: i) perceptual-cognitive; this involves the salience of specific categorisations which maintain prejudice (e.g., ingroup favouritism) ii) individual; this involves decreasing the individual s susceptibility to prejudice (e.g., personality variables) 10.

11 iii) iv) interpersonal; this involves how people learn prejudice (e.g., social norms about cultural groups; media images of minorities; intergroup contact) societal-intergroup; this involves the social conditions surrounding prejudiced attitudes (e.g., anti-discrimination laws; liberal democracy) For the purposes of this report, the middle two levels are focused on. Although the other two levels are vital elements in the process of reducing racism, the research conducted tends to involve individual and interpersonal strategies (having said that, it is particularly difficult to separate perceptual-cognitive and individual in a practical and meaningful way). Yet, as Duckitt (2001) points out, anti-racism strategies need to operate at all four levels; this cannot be overstated. In the following section, a number of particularly relevant strategies are discussed, and then evaluated for their usefulness. Most of these strategies report mainstream participants with minority group targets. However, it is worth noting that racist attitudes are not restricted simply to certain high-status groups against low-status groups. In this regard, three pertinent examples are set out below. First, minority groups often direct negativity directed toward majority groups. Although this is often perfectly understandable, there can be negative implications attached to this. For example, a self-fulfilling prophecy may occur. Here, Person A s expectations about Person B could elicit behaviour from Person B confirming Person A s expectancy. Put another way, an expectation that a person is racist may influence one s interaction with that person (e.g., a lack of warmth) which could lead the other person to respond in such a way that this would confirm the expectation that the person was racist and unfriendly. Second, there is racism against members of one s own cultural group (see Dudgeon s 2000 discussion of violence turned inward regarding Indigenous-Australians). As Dudgeon points out, some effects of intracultural violence are spousal abuse/child abuse, feuding, and self-harm. However, it is important not to take this out of context; as Dudgeon points out, these involve the effects of colonization. Also, it needs noting that Indigenous-Australians are not a homogeneous group. Similarly, violence against women is a major problem throughout Australian society regardless of colour or class. The interaction between racism and sexism is often hard to deal with. For example, Elshaikh reports that migrant women have so much to contend with in a new country that they often do not prioritise their own needs. Also, there are severe penalties for shaming the family if they disclose issues such as sexual assault (Elshaikh, 1996, cited in Urbis Keyes, & Young, 2002). Thus, there are complexities and ambiguities in dealing with the effects of racism in ethnic communities based on gender. Third, there is racism of marginalised groups toward other marginalised groups; in other words, racism among different minority groups (e.g., race, religion, gender, able-ism, sexuality, and the list goes on). As noted by Simpson and Yinger (1985) in the American setting, because of a whole range of reasons which 11.

12 are personal and social, and also because of the deprivations they themselves suffer, targets of racism can also engage in it. These authors give the examples of Chicanos and Puerto Ricans attempting to set themselves apart from African-Americans, as well as the anti-semitism sometimes expressed by African- Americans. Thus, ambient political, cultural, and structural factors always contextualise the implementation of any particular anti-racism strategy. The above has also been found in the Australian setting. Regarding racism against Indigenous-Australians, the authors found much negativity and a lack of understanding regardless of participants cultural background. For example, Waller, Mansell, Koh, Raja, and Pedersen s (2001) analysis of open-ended questions in a prejudice survey against Indigenous-Australians included participant comments such as this: I am an immigrant. Came here with nothing and was able to get an education and a decent job. If I can do it in a country who s [sic] language I could not speak then anyone can do it. If aboriginal people wanted to get ahead then they would have done it. Everyone should be treated EQUALLY no matter of colour or race. Similarly, with regard to racism toward refugees, Atwell, Heveli, and Pedersen (under review) found that people from migrant backgrounds were also negative toward refugees. For example, one respondent stated: As a migrant some 50 years ago having paid for everything i.e. trip and no handouts [sic]. Sent to the country we did not have the easy side of what is now offered. We had to work and fight to get where we are. Including learning new language and culture. Clearly, people who have struggled themselves are not immune to hostile attitudes toward other cultural groups. However, there is no empirical research to our knowledge that discusses anti-racism strategies regarding minority on minority. We now discuss the research relating to anti-racism strategies. With individual strategies, three main issues are discussed: providing specific information about racial issues, creating dissonance about having different values (e.g., believing oneself to be egalitarian, but disliking a certain cultural group), and the role of invoking empathy. With interpersonal strategies, intergroup contact, providing consensus information (do other people agree with our views?), the benefits of dialogue with other people, and advertising campaigns are discussed. Finally, two other campaigns will be discussed (Grim Reaper and Fighting Fat, Fighting Fit). These, although involving different targets, can provide useful information. 4.1 Individual strategies Providing knowledge about cultural issues. It is argued by some that simply reducing stereotypes can be an effective method of reducing prejudice. For example, Louw-Potgieter, Kamfer, and Boy (1991) conducted a stereotype reduction workshop, and although there was no pre and post test evaluation, the researchers received responses such as I don t judge the book by the cover anymore (p. 222). However, it is also worth stressing that the changing of stereotypes is often easier said than done. As the Australian 12.

13 Psychological Society Position Paper on Racism and Prejudice notes, stereotypes are extremely resistant to change, even in the face of evidence to the contrary (Sanson, Augoustinos, Gridley, Kyrios, Reser, & Turner, 1998). It is important to challenge false beliefs about target groups. Pedersen, Griffiths, Contos, Bishop and Walker (2000) found a strong relationship between racism and false beliefs such as Aboriginal people only have to make one car payment, and the Government will pay the rest. Similarly, Atwell et al. (under review) found an even stronger relationship between racism against refugees and false beliefs than the previous Pedersen et al. study. An example of such a false belief was Asylum seekers must be cashed up (i.e., be financially well off) to pay people smugglers. The higher reliance of false beliefs with regard to refugees indicates that most Australians have less experience with refugees than Indigenous- Australians, and therefore base their views more on what they hear (unfortunately, it appears that what they hear is inaccurate). However, what is learned can be unlearned to a degree. A Victorian study by Batterham (2001) found that debunking false beliefs about Indigenous-Australians reduced the reporting of prejudiced views. Dissonance. Racism can be reduced by having participants feel dissonance (i.e., psychological discomfort stemming from a perceived incompatibility among their beliefs). For example, they may see themselves as having egalitarian principles but also express prejudiced attitudes and/or behaviours. A Canadian study by Son Hing, Li, and Zanna (2002) targeted aversive racists (i.e., people who outwardly endorse egalitarian attitudes, believe that prejudice and discrimination are wrong, but still have negative feelings toward an outgroup). In this study, university participants were required to publicly make a declaration of nonprejudice (they had to write an essay on why it was important to treat Asian students fairly on campus which was then made public). Afterward, they were asked to describe two incidents when they reacted negatively to an Asian person. Participants who scored high on aversive racism responded with increased feelings of guilt and discomfort, which led to a reduction in prejudicial behaviour. Conversely, this procedure had no effect on participants who scored low on aversive racism and seemingly had more difficulty providing examples of discriminatory behaviour. Similarly, other researchers such as Levy (1999) have stressed the fact that evoking people s dissonance, or inconsistency between egalitarian values and negative attitudes, is a useful strategy for reducing prejudice. Empathy. Research indicates a strong relationship between levels of prejudice and empathy toward Indigenous-Australians (e.g., Batterham, 2001; Pedersen et al., in prep., Study One). In addition, some research finds that invoking empathy reduces racism levels (e.g., Finlay & Stephan, 2000). However, experimentally manipulating empathy is not always straightforward. In the study by Batterham (2001), discussed above, empathy levels were not affected by an empathy manipulation (in this case, watching a video called Cry from the Heart which explored the life and healing of an Indigenous man). 13.

14 Empathy commonly involves perspective taking (a more cognitive approach compared with empathic concern that is more emotional). A classic study was performed in the 1960s using experiential learning by an American primary school teacher, Jane Elliott, in a primarily white rural community in Iowa. This is commonly called the Blue Eyes-Brown Eyes experiment (Peters, 1971). Here, Elliott separated 3 rd grade children into two groups depending on their eye colour and, through a series of practical experiences, actively discriminated against the blue-eyed children, and then the brown-eyed children. Thirty years later, participants still saw this experience as life-changing and positive. Little experimental work has been done following up on this study. One American study that did so was Byrnes and Kiger (1990). Three weeks before their experiment, the researchers gave university students a pre-test on a social scenarios scale (i.e., how likely they were to take a stand against discriminatory behaviour toward African-Americans) and a social distance scale (e.g., how comfortable they were with having an African-American occupying specific social positions such as doctor, roommate, or dance partner). Half the students underwent the Elliott procedure; half attended classes on cultural awareness and viewed Elliott s film. The scales were then re-administered to students four weeks after the intervention. Results indicated that the experimental group scored higher on the social scenarios scale three weeks after the experiment i.e., they saw themselves as more likely to take action - compared with the control group (although the magnitude of such change was not strong). However, no difference was found with respect to social distance toward African-Americans. Interestingly, there was no difference in scores between the blue-eyed and brown-eyed participants; therefore, positive attitude change emerged for both groups. Additionally, almost all participants reported stress emanating from the procedure. This method has, however, been criticised by some authors due to the risks to participants such as stress, coercion and informed consent (e.g., Williams & Giles, 1992). These authors note that they concur with the sentiments behind the Blue Eyes-Brown Eyes experiment, but believe that until the effectiveness of such programs has been established, the risks may outweigh any possible benefits. However, Byrnes and Kiger (1992) responded by noting that they were aware of these ethical issues, and argued that if debriefing occurred, the greater compassion gained outweighed the emotional discomfort of participants. In another study, Finlay and Stephan (2000) gave Anglo-American university students information about incidents of discrimination against African-Americans, either with empathy-inducing instructions or without. Two versions of empathy were used; one was parallel empathy (i.e., this involved emotions such as hopelessness or anger in line with the target group); the other was reactive empathy (this involved emotions such as compassion or sympathy). Results indicated that the scenarios elicited parallel empathy rather than compassion toward African-Americans. It was hypothesised that emphasising the negativity may have interfered with experiencing positive emotions. The authors concluded that empathy is a complex 14.

15 emotion and takes a number of forms relating to attitudinal change. Similarly, Batson, Early, and Salvarani (1997) found that imagining how the other feels evokes a purely empathic response, and may lead to altruistic behaviour. Yet, imagining how you personally would feel in this situation evokes a more complex combination of personal distress and empathy. Therefore, even though these two forms of perspective-taking are often used interchangeably, they can have very different consequences. Individual strategies such as imparting knowledge, therefore, can be effective. However, as pointed out by Pate (1981), knowledge alone will not reduce prejudice; knowledge is something of a prerequisite to prejudice reduction, not the sole means (p. 288). In fact, Gadamer (1993) argues that knowledge is not possible without pre-judgment. Also, creating dissonance appears to be a useful tool, as is the use of empathy. Yet, given that different forms of empathy can lead to different motivations (either leading to or away from altruistic behaviour), this variable has to be used with care. 4.2 Interpersonal strategies Intergroup contact. The most compelling social psychological model for change in intergroup relations remains the contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954; Pettigrew, 1998). This model specifies the conditions under which conflicting groups should have contact with one another if the aim is to reduce prevailing intergroup tensions. There are four essential conditions: 1. Conflicting groups must have equal status within the contact situation. 2. There should be no competition along group lines within the contact situation. 3. Groups must seek superordinate goals within the contact situation. 4. Relevant institutional authorities must sanction the intergroup contact and must endorse a reduction in intergroup tensions. An important point to make here is that attempts to bring conflicting groups together to reduce conflict can easily exacerbate intergroup tensions if all four conditions are not met. It is believed that the contact hypothesis works because it creates situational forces that compel intergroup cooperation. Once achieved, intergroup cooperation leads to a reconceptualisation of self and one s group memberships. This is also the key to creating change that generalizes from one situation to another and from one outgroup to other outgroups. Many interventions designed to reduce stereotyping, prejudice, and racism produce limited effects, if any, that do not persist across time and do not generalize across situations and groups. This renders them ineffective and inefficient. Part of the problem here stems from the fact that such interventions usually try to change views of a particular outgroup. A more effective route to change is by changing views of the ingroup. If the ingroup is redefined psychologically and socially to be tolerant, 15.

16 inclusive, and diverse, then changes in intergroup relationships are inevitable and will more likely be persistent and generalizable. Interventions that target changing the view of the ingroup rather than views of outgroups also circumvent the problem of whether interventions should emphasize sameness or diversity. The question of whether it is better to emphasize sameness or diversity is wrongly framed. Interventions must address both simultaneously, and must succeed in producing a view of the ingroup that allows the recognition of the fact that people and groups are the same and different at the same time. Pettigrew s (1998) reformulation of Allport s classic statement of the contact hypothesis specifically addresses this issue. Pettigrew advises that any systematic attempt to change intergroup tensions must adopt a longitudinal framework that focuses initially on sameness and then, having achieved acceptance of a common humanity, works to allow diversity within commonality. This must be an essential element of any programmatic attempt to engineer intergroup relationships. Thus, the relationship between the reduction of prejudice and intergroup contact is not straightforward. In fact, contact alone may do more harm than good. For example, Walker and Crogan (1998) found that a jigsaw classroom (where each student learns a unique piece of information which he or she then teaches to the other members of the group) resulted in enhanced liking of both ingroup and outgroup peers. This pattern was not found with a cooperative learning group (where the children simply worked together); here there was an exacerbation of pre-existing tension. Without Allport s conditions being met, the contact may be detrimental to intergroup relations. Another example where intergroup contact may increase tension was outlined by Connolly (1995). Here, a British primary school encouraged African-Caribbean boys to participate in football; however, racist incidents against Asian boys were more likely to occur in this masculinised competitive context. However, intergroup contact under Allport s required conditions can produce positive results. For example, Nesdale and Todd (1998) examined the effect of inter-cultural contact in a university residence between Chinese and Australian students over a 6 month period. Results indicated that contact increased inter-cultural knowledge and acceptance for both groups and, importantly, generalised to other university settings outside the residence hall. In this study, Allport s four conditions were in place. Therefore, any anti-racism strategy which uses contact between groups needs to be careful about the conditions under which it takes place. The quantitative research described above indicates that contact alone is not enough. In a qualitative study conducted by Tilbury (1999) who examined cross-cultural friendships of New Zealand adults, similar conclusions were reached. She concluded that cross-cultural friendships may help reduce racist attitudes, 16.

17 but there are many other factors that are important such as cultural ideologies, identity issues, and perceived ingroup threat. Thus, both quantitative and qualitative research clearly indicates that the reduction of racism is multi-faceted, and contact alone is not enough. Providing consensus information. Perth research finds a relationship between racism against Indigenous- Australians and the belief that such views are shared by the wider population (e.g., Pedersen & Griffiths, 2002). In other words, people who were prejudiced were more likely to think that other people thought the same way as them. Believing that your views are the norm helps to justify your position. As yet, no empirical strategy has been implemented in Australia to examine whether being provided with different consensus information may reduce racism. However, it has been found that providing feedback to White- American university students that their views about African-Americans were not shared by all resulted in a decrease in negative attitudes one week later. This was especially the case for those who were given information regarding the views of ingroup members (Stangor, Sechrist, & Jost, 2001). Similarly, Blanchard, Crandall, Brigham and Vaughn (1994) found that a few outspoken people can affect racism and anti-racism regardless of their cultural background. In their study of three American college campuses, they found that simply hearing somebody speak out about racism led to participants in the study expressing significantly stronger anti-racist opinions. These findings indicate the malleability of ethnic attitudes. These findings can also be linked to the political situation in Australia over the last few years, and especially to the implicit or explicit endorsement of particular views by community and political leaders. Dialogue. Although the provision of knowledge is useful, it is not enough on its own. For example, as described above, Byrnes and Kiger (1990) found that participants who took part in the Blue Eye-Brown Eye experiment were more willing to act when confronted with discrimination compared with the control group. However, lectures on prejudice and discrimination had no effect on the control group. In a Canadian study by Aboud and Fenwick (1999), researchers explored and evaluated three school-based anti-prejudice interventions (two of which are relevant here, and will be discussed in turn). In Study 1, they assessed whether a teacher-led program of talking about race and racial evaluations (in particular individualising outgroup members) could reduce racial prejudice over an 11 week period with 1-2 sessions per week. Unlike most interventions discussed in this report, their period of assessment included a follow-up two months after the study. Results indicated that the intervention improved the perception of individual differences in both high- and low-prejudice white students. It reduced prejudice scores for highprejudice white students and importantly did not increase those of others. 17.

18 In Study 2, high-prejudice children were paired with low-prejudice children to discuss how and why they made evaluations about racial issues. Results indicated that prejudice in high-prejudice students decreased; prejudice stayed the same with low-prejudice students. This study indicates the importance of talking about racial issues, rather than just being taught. Liebkind and McAlister (1999) conducted an intervention with 1,480 Finnish school children to examine whether racism could be reduced toward foreigners through peer modelling. Here, participants read printed material of same-age peers who went through attitude change after supposedly forming personal relationships with outgroup friends, as well as older university students who were supportive of tolerance toward foreigners. Three weeks later the children filled out a racism scale targeting a number of different cultural groups, but primarily against Russians and black African immigrants. Results indicated racism scores of participants in schools that performed the intervention significantly decreased, while racism scores of non-participants either declined or were stable. In an Australian context, giving people the opportunity to discuss racial issues is also a useful anti-racist strategy. A deliberation forum was held where respondents from all over Australia met to discuss issues regarding Indigenous Australians and Reconciliation (Issues Deliberation Australia, 2001). After intense discussion, there were marked shifts in reported knowledge of Indigenous concerns (e.g., perception of disadvantage of Indigenous-Australians; levels of political knowledge). There was also an increase in support for an official apology to the Stolen Generations, and support for Reconciliation. However, there were some initiatives put forward at that forum where opinions did not change (e.g., treaty; allocation for Indigenous seats in Parliament). Advertising campaigns. A raft of interpersonal strategies can be delivered effectively to a wide audience through advertising campaigns. Advertising itself is not an anti-racism strategy or mechanism, but rather a medium for the delivery of such strategies. Advertising campaigns can be very broad (using, for example, free-to-air television and radio), or can be more tailored (using, for example, particular print outlets to reach target groups). Generally, we would question the effectiveness of general advertising campaigns to deliver anti-racism messages. They are unlikely to produce significant behavioural changes, and they run the risk of producing counter-productive backlash effects in at least some sections of the community. However, there are some notable successful general advertising campaigns in other areas, and we mention two such campaigns here: the Grim Reaper campaign and the Fighting Fat, Fighting Fit campaign. 2 The Grim Reaper Campaign. This was commenced in April 1987 in an attempt to reduce AIDS. It started with a TV commercial set in a bowling alley where the Grim Reaper bowled over human pins (Morlet, Guinan, Diefenthaler, & Gold, 1988). The campaign relied on medieval and horrifying images of a skeletal/skull-headed figure in a black hood carrying a scythe as well as a bowling ball, and saw education 18.

19 as the weapon against AIDS (Lupton, 1994). The campaign was successful in that there was a large increase in requests for HIV antibody testing (Dwyer, Howard, Downie, & Cunningham, 1988; Morlet et al.). However, as these authors point out, most testing took place with low risk people (e.g., women) rather than high risk people. Additionally, while Bray and Chapman (1991) also found that media messages regarding AIDS were successfully recalled, and there was high knowledge of AIDS, there were other issues such as social divisiveness and anxiety which need to be taken into account. For example, a sizeable minority of participants thought people with AIDS should be forced to quit their jobs; also, that they would not like their child to go to school with a child suffering from AIDS. Physical activity. British research has produced mixed results when examining the role of the media on the undertaking of physical activity. From a negative angle, in a review of the literature, Marcus and colleagues noted that while recall of mass media messages was high, it had little effect on behaviour. However, the more tailored the intervention was to the population, and the more frequent the contact participants had, the more effective the intervention (Marcus, Owen, Forsyth, Cavill, & Fridinger, 1998). However, some success is reported in the literature. For example, Bauman, Baellew, Owen and Vita (2001) found that after media messages promoting activity (TV, print media, physician mailouts, community support strategies), people who recalled the messages were twice as likely to increase their activity. Having said this, there were very large differences in recall. In another study, researchers were interested in the reduction of obesity in Britain (Miles, Rapoport, Wardle, Afuape, & Duman, 2001). They examined a British campaign known as Fighting Fat, Fighting Fit. Here, the BBC provided 7 weeks of messages about obesity targeted specifically at overweight and obese people. They found a 57% public awareness of the campaign, and 237,865 packs of information were sent out to interested parties. When evaluating the weight of participants, they found a significant change, and concluded that media campaigns have the potential to be effective. However, as they pointed out, the campaigns need to be examined longterm rather than short-term, and need to involve other elements as well as the mass media. They also noted that subgroups such as men, lower socio-economic (SES) groups, and people aged under 25 years need campaigns tailored to them specifically. Interestingly, however, not all studies find such gender differences (e.g., Booth, Bauman, Oldenburg, Owen, & Magnus, 1992). So what can be learned from these two campaigns that may be useful to anti-racism strategies? Five interesting possible commonalities are now set out. First, it is important not to assume that all campaigns will affect all people to the same degree (eg., male/female; younger/older). Second, there may be positives and negatives involved in interventions, such as social divisiveness. Third, some studies showed little link between attitudes and behaviour, although the more specific the intervention, the better the result. Fourth, interventions need to be examined long-term rather than short-term. Finally, there are other elements that are important aside from mass media, including community level follow-up. 19.

20 Anti-racism strategies. Campaigns that specifically target racism are now discussed. Some strategies have involved reducing prejudice by way of advertising campaigns. Some researchers point out that these campaigns can sometimes backfire (Maio, Watt, & Hewstone, 2002; Vrij, Van Schie, & Cherryman, 1996). Specifically, Maio et al. examined the effects of anti-racism advertisements on attitudes and found that advertisements run the risk of backlash effects. Surprisingly, while they had a small positive effect on people whose attitudes were wholly positive or negative, they tended to push those who were ambivalent in their feelings about other groups in the opposite direction, making them more racist. Also, the literature review of Vrij et al. indicated that poorly thought out campaigns can have negative effects in promoting ideas such as strangeness of ethnic eating behaviour, and ethnic groups being criminal and making trouble. To overcome these problems, Vrij et al. (1996) argued strongly that researchers often ignore important theoretical predictions. In their study with white Dutch community members, they saw three factors as important in changing attitudes: 1. stressing the similarities between the mainstream population and ethnic groups, 2. using a number of ethnic minorities rather than just one, and 3. providing commentaries about the communication. They found that by including all of these three factors, prejudice was reduced. However, this effect was not particularly strong, especially with respect to the inclusion of more ethnic groups. In a further study by Vrij and Smith (1999), they found a visual campaign using cue cards launched by the British Government produced increased prejudice scores compared with a control group. A second similar campaign produced no difference in prejudice scores. Thus, the designers of anti-racism campaigns must be very careful about their content (this is discussed later regarding theoretical content). Little work on the effectiveness of anti-racism strategies has been published in the Australian context. However, an interesting study was performed in Bunbury, Western Australia, by Donovan and Leivers (1993). The aim of this study was to change negative beliefs about unemployed Aboriginal people (e.g., they don t want to work; they never stay in a job long, etc.). In a pre-test, respondents were given a questionnaire asking questions such as What percentage of Aborigines in the town who are able to work, do work? and general questions such as whether respondents believed Aboriginal people were lazy or honest. Then a television campaign was run featuring short interviews with twelve different employed Aboriginal people. In a post-test, there was a 15.8% increase in positive attitudes toward Aboriginal people both with respect to employment and general attitudes. The authors argued that the mass media can be used to modify beliefs underlying prejudice against Indigenous people. As Donovan and Leivers argue, beliefs about employment are a good place to start, as unemployment is seen by many non-aboriginal Australians as a violation of white Australians values (p. 208). 20.

INVISIBLE MEN: engaging more men in social projects. Aman Johal, Anton Shelupanov & Will Norman

INVISIBLE MEN: engaging more men in social projects. Aman Johal, Anton Shelupanov & Will Norman INVISIBLE MEN: engaging more men in social projects Aman Johal, Anton Shelupanov & Will Norman 1 Contents Foreword Acknowledgements Executive Summary 1. Introduction 2. Engaging Men: what s known 3. The

More information

Making Diversity Work on Campus: A Research-Based Perspective

Making Diversity Work on Campus: A Research-Based Perspective Making Diversity Work on Campus: A Research-Based Perspective By Jeffrey F. Milem, Mitchell J. Chang, and Anthony Lising Antonio One in a series of three papers commissioned as part of the Making Excellence

More information


IS RECONCILIATION POSSIBLE? LESSONS FROM COMBATING MODERN RACISM IS RECONCILIATION POSSIBLE? LESSONS FROM COMBATING MODERN RACISM By Valerie Batts, Ph.D. Two weeks after September 11, 2001, the bishops of the Episcopal Church, USA met for a scheduled meeting on the

More information

Understanding who commits hate crime and why they do it

Understanding who commits hate crime and why they do it Ymchwil gymdeithasol Social research Number: 38/2013 Understanding who commits hate crime and why they do it Sdf 1 AUTHORS Dr Colin Roberts, Cardiff University Prof Martin Innes, Cardiff University Dr

More information

Climate Surveys: Useful Tools to Help Colleges and Universities in Their Efforts to Reduce and Prevent Sexual Assault

Climate Surveys: Useful Tools to Help Colleges and Universities in Their Efforts to Reduce and Prevent Sexual Assault Climate Surveys: Useful Tools to Help Colleges and Universities in Their Efforts to Reduce and Prevent Sexual Assault Why are we releasing information about climate surveys? Sexual assault is a significant

More information

A rose by any other name

A rose by any other name A rose by any other name Revisiting the question: what exactly is volunteering? Working paper series: Paper one Angela Ellis Paine, Matthew Hill and Colin Rochester 2010 About the Institute for Volunteering

More information

Schools for All. Schools for All. Including disabled children in education. Including disabled children in education. guidelines.

Schools for All. Schools for All. Including disabled children in education. Including disabled children in education. guidelines. practice guidelines Schools for All Including disabled children in education Experience from Save the Children and partners globally demonstrates that improvements in education quality go hand-in-hand

More information

Truth is Bitter. A report of the visit of Dr Alex Boraine to Northern Ireland 2

Truth is Bitter. A report of the visit of Dr Alex Boraine to Northern Ireland 2 All Truth is Bitter A Report of the Visit of Doctor Alex Boraine, Deputy Chairman of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to Northern Ireland Report of the Visit of Dr Alex Boraine to

More information

What do people want, need and expect from public services?

What do people want, need and expect from public services? 2020 Public Services Trust at the 2020 Public Services Trust, RSA, 8 John Adam Street, London, WC2N 6EZ telephone: 020 7451 6962 charity no: 1124095 What do people want, need and expect

More information


THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Training Guide No. 19 Professional Training Series The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Training Guide Professional Training

More information

What makes great teaching?

What makes great teaching? What makes great teaching? Review of the underpinning research Robert Coe, Cesare Aloisi, Steve Higgins and Lee Elliot Major October 2014 Executive Summary A framework for professional learning This review

More information



More information

POSITION PAPER No 3. Has service user participation made a difference to social care services? Better knowledge for better practice

POSITION PAPER No 3. Has service user participation made a difference to social care services? Better knowledge for better practice POSITION PAPER No 3 Has service user participation made a difference to social care services? Better knowledge for better practice MARCH 2004 Has service user participation made a difference to social

More information

of Scotland s looked after children & young people.

of Scotland s looked after children & young people. JANUARY 2007 looked after children & young people: Working together to build improvement in the educational outcomes of Scotland s looked after children & young people. looked after children & young people:

More information

Guidelines for Research with Children and Young People. Catherine Shaw, Louca-Mai Brady and Ciara Davey

Guidelines for Research with Children and Young People. Catherine Shaw, Louca-Mai Brady and Ciara Davey Guidelines for Research with Children and Young People [Blank page] Guidelines for Research with Children and Young People NCB s vision is a society in which children and young people are valued, their

More information

Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion

Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion Library and Information Commission Research Report 84 Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion Volume One: Overview and Conclusions Dave Muddiman Shiraz Durrani Martin Dutch Rebecca Linley,

More information

Improving Coaching: Evolution not revolution

Improving Coaching: Evolution not revolution LITERATURE REVIEW Improving Coaching: Evolution not revolution Research report Rachel Lofthouse David Leat Carl Towler Elaine Hall Colleen Cummings About the research report This research report documents

More information


SERVICES FOR ALL PROMOTING ACCESS AND EQUITY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT SERVICES FOR ALL PROMOTING ACCESS AND EQUITY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT Statement of Tolerance Tolerant and just communities are fundamental to the pursuit of democratic values. Local Government will seek to

More information

Information Management 2MODULE. A System We Can Count On. Assessing Need

Information Management 2MODULE. A System We Can Count On. Assessing Need 2MODULE Information Management A System We Can Count On Assessing Need The Health Planner s Toolkit Health System Intelligence Project 2006 Table of Contents Introduction: The Planner s Challenge..........

More information

Why do women leave architecture? Ann de Graft-Johnson, Sandra Manley and Clara Greed University of the West of England, Bristol, May 2003

Why do women leave architecture? Ann de Graft-Johnson, Sandra Manley and Clara Greed University of the West of England, Bristol, May 2003 Why do women leave architecture? Ann de Graft-Johnson, Sandra Manley and Clara Greed University of the West of England, Bristol, May 2003 Too many suits If I had wanted to be a CADDY I would have joined

More information

How to develop thinking and assessment for learning in the classroom

How to develop thinking and assessment for learning in the classroom How to develop thinking and assessment for learning in the classroom Guidance Guidance document No: 044/2010 Date of revision: November 2010 How to develop thinking and assessment for learning in the classroom

More information

Why we need European cultural policies

Why we need European cultural policies european cultural foundation Why we need European cultural policies by Nina Obuljen the impact of EU enlargement on cultural policies in transition countries Why we need European cultural

More information

Gypsy, Traveller and Roma: Experts by Experience

Gypsy, Traveller and Roma: Experts by Experience Gypsy, Traveller and Roma: Experts by Experience Reviewing UK Progress on the European Union Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies Report compiled by: Dr Pauline Lane Siobhan Spencer MBE Adrian

More information

Would they actually have believed me?

Would they actually have believed me? Would they actually have believed me? A focus group exploration of the underreporting of crimes by Jimmy Savile September 2013 Contents 1. Introduction... 3 2. Methodology... 4 3. Responses to Focus Group

More information

Improving outcomes for young black and/or Muslim men in the Criminal Justice System. Final report

Improving outcomes for young black and/or Muslim men in the Criminal Justice System. Final report Improving outcomes for young black and/or Muslim men in the Criminal Justice System Final report Acknowledgements Thank you Special thanks to the Barrow Cadbury Trust for their support of this review from

More information



More information

We need respect : experiences of internationally recruited nurses in the UK

We need respect : experiences of internationally recruited nurses in the UK We need respect : experiences of internationally recruited nurses in the UK Presented to the Royal College of Nursing by Dr Helen Allan and Dr John Aggergaard Larsen European Institute of Health and Medical

More information

To Live To See the Great Day That Dawns:

To Live To See the Great Day That Dawns: To Live To See the Great Day That Dawns: Preventing Suicide by American Indian and Alaska Native Youth and Young Adults U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

More information

Leadership that promotes the achievement of students with special educational needs and disabilities: full report

Leadership that promotes the achievement of students with special educational needs and disabilities: full report Inspiring leaders to improve children s lives Schools and academies Leadership that promotes the achievement of students with special educational needs and disabilities: full report Christopher Chapman,

More information

Practice Paper. Working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Practice Paper. Working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds Practice Paper Working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds June 2010 Contents Introduction... 3 Background... 3 1. Legislative and policy context...3 2. Terminology...3 Overview

More information